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Voting continues in 4 areas of Ukraine on becoming a member of Russia

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KYIV: The Kremlin stated on Monday it was in “sporadic” contact with the US on nuclear subject, a day after Washington warned of “catastrophic penalties” if Moscow used nuclear weapons to guard Ukrainian areas it appears set to annex.

Residents in 4 areas of Ukraine had been voting for a fourth day on Monday in Moscow-organised referendums on becoming a member of Russia, a plan Kyiv and the West have branded a sham. They are saying the outcomes are pre-determined and they won’t recognise the outcomes.

However by incorporating the 4 areas – Luhansk and Donetsk within the east and Zaporizhzhia and Kherson within the south – Moscow may painting Ukraine’s efforts to retake them as assaults on Russia itself.

President Vladimir Putin stated final week Moscow was prepared to make use of nuclear weapons to defend any of its territory as he introduced a mobilisation drive that threatens to considerably escalate the seven-month-old battle in Ukraine.

US Nationwide Safety Adviser Jake Sullivan stated on Sunday the US would reply “decisively” to any Russian use of nuclear weapons towards Ukraine, with out elaborating. He stated Washington had privately informed Moscow “precisely what that will imply”.

Requested on Monday about Sullivan’s feedback, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov stated: “There are channels for dialogue on the correct degree, however they’re of a really sporadic nature. Not less than they permit for the alternate of some emergency messages about one another’s positions.”

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy stated he didn’t imagine Putin was bluffing when the Kremlin chief stated Moscow could be prepared to make use of nuclear weapons to defend Russia.

Door-to-door voting

The exiled mayor of Russian-controlled Melitopol within the Zaporizhzhia area condemned the referendums – that are because of finish on Tuesday – as “a faux and a farce”.

“The voting takes place in entrance of assault rifles, males with weapons… Individuals are grabbed proper on the road and are compelled to vote not just for themselves however for his or her entire households,” he stated by way of videolink from an undisclosed location.

Fedorov additionally accused Russia of forcibly enlisting Ukrainian males in occupied areas into its armed forces.

“As we speak the scenario is essential: our residents are scared, our residents are panicking, they don’t know what’s going to occur tomorrow and when they are going to really take our individuals away for enlisting,” he stated.

The governor of Luhansk, one other area Moscow goals to annex, stated Russian-backed officers had been carrying poll containers from door to door, accompanied by safety officers.

Residents’ names had been taken down in the event that they didn’t vote accurately or refused to solid a poll, Serhiy Gaidai stated.

“Representatives of the occupation forces are going from house to house with poll containers. This can be a secret poll, proper?” Gaidai stated in an interview posted on-line.

The 4 areas signify about 15% of Ukraine. Russian forces don’t management all of the territory in these areas, the place preventing nonetheless rages. They’d add to Crimea, annexed by Russia in 2014 after the same referendum there.

Ukraine, bolstered by refined Western weapons, has recaptured swathes of territory over the previous month, prompting Putin final week to order Russia’s first navy mobilisation since World Conflict Two to enlist 300,000 further troops.

Protests

Kremlin spokesman Peskov stated on Monday Russia had taken no selections on closing its borders, amid an exodus of military-age males since Putin’s announcement, which goals to enlist some 300,000 reservists.

Virtually 17,000 Russians crossed the border into Finland over the weekend, Finnish authorities stated, whereas Russian state media stated the estimated wait to enter Georgia hit 48 hours at one level on Sunday, with greater than 3,000 automobiles queuing.

Greater than 2,000 individuals have been detained throughout Russia for protests on the draft, says unbiased monitoring group OVD-Information. With criticism of the battle banned, the demonstrations had been among the many first indicators of discontent for the reason that struggle started.

A 25-year-old gunman opened hearth at a draft workplace on Monday within the Irkutsk area of Siberia, the native governor stated.

In Russia’s Muslim-majority southern area of Dagestan, police clashed with protesters, resulting in the detention of at the least 100 individuals.

Peskov acknowledged that some call-ups had been issued in error, saying errors had been being corrected by regional governors and the ministry of defence.

In a Sunday video clip, Zelenskiy addressed Russian protesters straight: “Carry on preventing in order that your kids won’t be despatched to their deaths – all these that may be drafted by this felony Russian mobilisation.”

“As a result of for those who come to remove the lives of our youngsters … we won’t allow you to get away alive.”

Patriarch Kirill, the pinnacle of Russia’s Orthodox Church and a detailed ally of Putin, stated anyone who sacrificed themselves on the battlefield could be “cleansed…of all of the sins they’ve dedicated”.

Ukrainian officers stated on Monday that additional heavy preventing had seen greater than 40 cities hit by Russian shelling, principally in southern and southeast Ukraine.

Zelenskiy stated Ukraine had found two extra mass burial websites containing the our bodies of a whole lot of individuals within the northeastern city of Izium, a part of territory recaptured from Russian forces this month.

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US ban on Chinese language tech companies will solely ‘harm world worth chain’: Specialists

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BEIJING: The US Federal Communications Fee (FCC) on Friday banned 5 Chinese language companies from promoting communications tools within the US, citing the catch-all excuse of “nationwide safety,” a transfer Chinese language specialists warned will solely harm the worldwide worth chain and will certainly backfire.

The FCC “adopted new guidelines prohibiting communications tools deemed to pose an unacceptable threat to nationwide safety from being approved for importation or sale within the US,” learn an announcement launched on its web site.

Chinese language main know-how companies Huawei, ZTE, Hytera Communications, Hikvision Digital Know-how, and Dahua Know-how had been added to the record.

The US has been stepping up efforts to crack down on Chinese language telecom operators over latest years. From ZTE, Huawei to China Telecom (Americas) Corp and China Cell Worldwide USA Inc. “Practically all Chinese language telecom giants have been viciously focused by the US,” Ma Jihua, a veteran telecom observer, instructed the World Occasions on Saturday.

But, the impression of the newest ban on Chinese language companies is restricted, as a lot of them have lowered enterprise operations within the US as a consequence of Washington’s hostile angle, Ma stated.

The so-called nationwide safety menace is groundless. It has change into more and more clear that the US’ crackdown has seen diminishing marginal impact; whereas Chinese language know-how companies cannot solely survive, however will maintain develop robustly, specialists stated.

Huawei reported a 113.7-billion-yuan ($15.9 billion) internet revenue in 2021, surging 75.9 % year-on-year. The agency’s complete gross sales earnings totaled 636.8 billion yuan, in response to the corporate’s annual report.

China and Chinese language tech firms have been ramping up efforts in new know-how analysis and improvement (R&D). Huawei’s R&D funding reached 142.7 billion yuan in 2021, accounting for 22.4 % of its annual income. The 5G frontrunner has greater than 6,000 chief specialists and scientists, in addition to over 100,000 engineers.

Over the previous decade, China’s funding in science and know-how has elevated considerably from 1.03 trillion yuan to 2.79 trillion yuan, rating second on the planet, in response to the Ministry of Science and Know-how.

As an alternative of containing China’s improvement, the US’ “de-coupling” insurance policies will solely harm the worldwide industrial chain and world financial progress, in addition to systematically degrade the US’ market surroundings and Individuals’ livelihood, specialists famous.

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Taliban condemn UN official’s ‘disrespectful’ assertion about Islamic penal code

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KABUL: The Spokesperson of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan Zabihullah Mujahid took to Twitter on Saturday to sentence a press release by a UN official as “disrespectful” to Islam.

A day ealier, the spokesperson of the United Nations Excessive Fee for Human Rights and representatives of Western International locations had known as the punishment of flogging an “inhumane and merciless act”.

Mujahid mentioned that this comment on the implementation of the penal code of Islam was “disrespect to the Holy Faith of Islam and towards the worldwide requirements”.

Additional, he acknowledged that nations and organisations shouldn’t permit people to make “irresponsible and provocative statements” on their behalf concerning the “blessed faith of Islam”.

This response got here following the UN Rights Workplace Spokesperson Ravina Shamdasani’s assertion on Friday towards corporal punishment in Afghanistan.

Shamdasani mentioned that the UN Human Rights Workplace was appalled by the mass floggings in public by the de facto authorities, calling an finish to this “abhorrent type of punishment”.

The assertion termed corporal punishment to be merciless and inhuman, including that it’s prohibited below the Conference towards Torture and Different Merciless, Inhuman or Degrading Therapy or Punishment and the Worldwide Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, each of which Afghanistan is celebration to.

Shamdasani famous that for the reason that Taliban rule started in Afghanistan on August 15, 2021, the UN Human Rights Workplace has documented quite a few circumstances of such punishment given in public, usually for alleged violations of non secular codes.

The assertion concluded that corporal punishment is a human rights violation below worldwide regulation.

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NASA Orion spacecraft enters lunar orbit: officers

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WASHINGTON: NASA’s Orion spacecraft was positioned in lunar orbit Friday, officers mentioned, because the much-delayed Moon mission proceeded efficiently.

A little bit over every week after the spacecraft blasted off from Florida certain for the Moon, flight controllers “efficiently carried out a burn to insert Orion right into a distant retrograde orbit,” the US house company mentioned on its web site.

The spacecraft is to take astronauts to the Moon within the coming years — the primary to set foot on its floor because the final Apollo mission in 1972.

This primary check flight, with no crew on board, goals to make sure that the car is secure.

“The orbit is distant in that Orion will fly about 40,000 miles above the Moon,” NASA mentioned.

Whereas in lunar orbit, flight controllers will monitor key techniques and carry out checkouts whereas within the atmosphere of deep house, the company mentioned.

It is going to take Orion a few week to finish half an orbit across the Moon. It is going to then exit the orbit for the return journey dwelling, in accordance with NASA.

On Saturday, the ship is predicted to go as much as 40,000 miles past the Moon, a report for a liveable capsule. The present report is held by the Apollo 13 spacecraft at 248,655 miles (400,171 km) from Earth.

It is going to then start the journey again to Earth, with a touchdown within the Pacific Ocean scheduled for December 11, after simply over 25 days of flight.

The success of this mission will decide the way forward for the Artemis 2 mission, which can take astronauts across the Moon with out touchdown, then Artemis 3, which can lastly mark the return of people to the lunar floor.

These missions are scheduled to happen in 2024 and 2025, respectively.

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